Essex County FA match official, Garry Maskell (pictured above), has been appointed as one of the assistant referees for the FA Vase Challenge Final on Sunday, 21st May 2023 at Wembley Stadium.
The game will be played against Ascot United and Newport Pagnell Town, will kick-off at 12:15pm and is part of the FA’s Non-Leagues Finals Day.
Garry, who acts as an assistant referee on League One and Two fixtures in the English Football League, said upon hearing the news he’s been appointed to the FA Challenge Vase Final “It was a great phone call to receive, although I couldn't answer the call straight away! I was mid walk across the Manhattan Bridge with noisy trains going past, so it was too loud to answer... but when I saw it was Peter Elsworth ringing, I knew it was a call to return quickly so raced across the bridge to speak to him! It's a wonderful feeling to be appointed to any cup final, let alone at Wembley Stadium so it was a really memorable call and an exciting moment in my refereeing career”.
"I'm looking forward to being part of an exciting game of football between two teams who have done so well to reach Wembley. It's their cup final as well as ours and I hope we all have a successful day. It will be great to spend it with refereeing colleagues who I've worked with many times over the years and also to have friends and family watching in the stands. I think the moment I'm looking forward to the most is walking out of the tunnel and lining up on the pitch – a special moment before we get down to work."
For any Essex County FA match official looking to follow in Garry’s footsteps his advice is to "Set yourself milestones each season in your career and work hard to achieve them but also remember to enjoy the journey on the way. You may not always hit your targets, but make sure to enjoy the highs when you do and learn from the challenges along the way. I'm approaching my 20th season and moments like the FA Challenge Vase Final make all the tough days worthwhile."
"It's important to find colleagues who you can talk to about your games, the good points and the learning points, and try to watch other officials as much as you can to learn from them too. Refereeing is a demanding hobby but also a great career for those who want it. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone to colleagues if you want some advice or to just get something off your mind, it makes the journey a lot easier."
Garry will be assisting Anthony Backhouse (Cumberland FA) who is due to referee the fixture and will also be joined by Alex James (Hampshire FA) as the second assistant referee and David Rock (Hertfordshire FA) who will be the fourth official on the fixture.
We are wishing Garry and the team all the best for the fixture!